Portuguese

AmazingTalker

2.5 
Price: From around $10 per 50-minute class

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AmazingTalker is an italki and Verbling competitor that lets you book classes with language teachers and academic tutors of your choice. It has a lot of attractive features for students, but teachers complain about high commission rates and lack of support.

It boasts a 3% acceptance rate for teachers and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with your class, they’ll rebook you another one for free. There are lots of teachers to choose from, or you can also use their AI Matching Service to find a tutor. The teachers’ profiles include videos, reviews, and their résumé.

However, AmazingTalker doesn’t seem a great choice for teachers. It charges English and Japanese teachers astonishingly high commission rates of up to 30%. While these rates fall as teachers earn more through the site, they have to make $1,500 a month before the commission reaches levels comparable to italki and Verbling. Making it worse, there’s an additional 8% fee for payment processing and tax that all teachers have to pay, no matter what language they teach. 

There have also been complaints on Reddit from teachers claiming to have been harassed by students and fellow teachers. However, we cannot corroborate these.

Given all this, we’d recommend trying italki (review) or Verbling (review) first. Alternatively, check out our guide to the best platforms for online language classes.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Verbling

Quick Review

4.6 

Summary:

Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation. 

However, it can be slightly pricier than alternatives, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere. It also has fewer languages than some of the bigger competitors, so it might not be a good choice if you want to study Azerbaijani, Khmer, or Yoruba.

Teacher Quality 

There are some less experienced teachers, but I found the lessons to be more consistently high quality than on italki.

Platform 

The classroom technology, flashcards, and filing system are fantastic for learners and easy to use.

Value

Some teachers charge more than on italki, but you get better classroom technology, more privacy, and fewer disorganized teachers.

Languages

Verbling lists 65 different languages on their platform, from Spanish and Mandarin Chinese through to Twi and Berber. Not all of them have available teachers, however.

Price

Prices are set by the teacher and range from $5 to $75 for an hour-long lesson. You can get discounts for buying packs of 5, 10, or 20 lessons with a teacher. Every student gets one free trial lesson, after which they’re $6 each.

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Instituto Camões Portuguese

3.7 
Price: Courses cost between €180 - €320

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The Instituto Camões Portuguese is a website developed by the Portuguese government that offers self-study Portuguese courses for A1 – C1 learners. Each twelve-week course requires about five hours per week of self-study. The self-study modules incorporate reading, listening comprehension, and grammar, while the basic and premium plans add speaking and writing practice (with the support of a weekly or bi-weekly tutor).

The courses appear to follow a natural progression through the levels, although you will probably find it difficult to go from A1 – C1 without a regular tutor. They also offer a beginner course tailored to Spanish speakers, which may accelerate your learning if you already have a strong grasp of Spanish.

Although the courses are significantly more expensive than those in Practice Portuguese, the self-study program is comparable to a monthly membership with Portuguese Lab. The premium option may be helpful for the intensive learner who wants to thoroughly cover the CEFR levels. Alternatively, you could use an italki tutor with the self-study plan. 

We have not tested the course ourselves, but this Reddit post includes the experience of another user.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Easy Portuguese

4.5 
Price: Free

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Easy Portuguese is a simple website that presents a handful of vocabulary words, phrases, verb conjugations, and grammar explanations. There is no audio pronunciation anywhere on the site, nor are there any activities to promote recall or interaction.

One part of the website that you may find useful is the grammar section, which explains 24 different grammar points. On the other hand, Practice Portuguese‘s free learning notes may be a better option, as they cover all of the same topics and more, with native speaker pronunciation.

Overall, there are lots of other websites that are more effective at supporting your Portuguese studies. Check out Cooljugator for hundreds of Portuguese verb conjugations that include multiple examples of how to use each verb in context. If you just want useful phrases, Lingo Hut provides hundreds of them recorded by native speakers. Lastly, Portuguese Lab and Practice Portuguese provide lots of free and paid resources to support you on the road to fluency.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Practice Portuguese

4.3 
Price: €15/mo, €153/year

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Practice Portuguese’s website provides podcasts, videos, conjugation exercises, grammar notes, and more for A1 – B2 learners to improve their European Portuguese. It was developed by a Portuguese-Canadian duo, which seems to allow the site to develop from both a native speaker’s and a learner’s perspective. 

Full transcripts are only available through the members-only course, which includes over 100 units that continually adapt themselves to your current level. However, there are lots of free videos, podcast episodes, and learning notes for your enjoyment. The learning notes use audio recorded by native speakers to pronounce new vocabulary words, which appear as buttons with an English translation beneath them.

For listening comprehension, there are audio recordings with time-stamped transcripts, a vocabulary list, and a quiz. You can listen to the recordings at 0.5x – 2x speed and click on the transcript to skip to different parts of the recording. There is also the option to download the MP3 or PDF transcript.

Overall, Practice Portuguese seems most effective at improving your listening comprehension, and if you engage with the dialogues, it will probably improve your speaking abilities, too. There is no free trial, but you can try Practice Portuguese with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Portuguese Lab is a similar, equally high-quality option with a free trial, but it is twice the cost of Practice Portuguese.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Lingo Mastery Conversational Dialogues

3.5 
Price: Kindle books cost $4.60

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Lingo Mastery provides over 100 short dialogues in a series of advanced beginner books (about A2 on the CEFR scale) for various languages. 

Lingo Mastery’s Conversational Dialogues doesn’t take the immersive approach that you will find in other graded readers. Instead, they provide a full English translation of each text. There are no vocabulary lists or comprehension questions like in their Short Stories series, but you will read conversations that take place in over a hundred different scenarios. If your goal is to accumulate vocabulary based on situations that you may encounter in your everyday life, then Lingo Mastery is probably a good investment.

If you want to follow real-life conversations that are part of a continuous story, you may want to check out Olly Richards’ 101 Conversations. Also, if you are looking for a series of books that will keep you captivated, Mandarin Companion and ESLC provide graded readers that simplify famous stories into Chinese and Spanish.

If you do decide to invest in these readers, make sure to buy the Kindle version, which is about 20% of the paperback price. There are also previews available on Amazon.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Olly Richards Short Stories

Price: Kindle books start at $6.55

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Olly Richards, the creator of I Will Teach You A Language, has written a series of short stories for high-beginners to improve their reading skills in several languages. He also has a 101 Conversations series, but this review focuses on his Short Stories.

Most of the languages use the most common words in your target language, with natural phrases that you would overhear locals using while conversing amongst each other. In every language, the plot follows the same characters and adventures, with some adjustments for cultural differences.

The intro to each book provides a practical overview of how to maximize your learning. At the end of each chapter, you will see a summary of the plot, a vocabulary list of new words (that are also bolded in the stories), and comprehension questions. The comprehension questions are simple, allowing you to find the responses directly in the text.

Overall, the Kindle version of Olly’s short stories seems worth the investment for upper beginners to improve their language abilities. If you’re learning Chinese, check out the Mandarin Companion series. Also, A1 – A2 Spanish learners can enjoy several short novels in the ESLC and Read It! series.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Lingo Mastery Short Stories

3.7 
Price: Kindle Books cost $4.60

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Lingo Mastery provides 20 short stories in a series of advanced beginner books (about A2 on the CEFR scale) for various languages. Each book has a vocabulary list, reading comprehension questions, and a summary in both English and the target language.  

If your primary goal is to acquire new vocabulary, then Lingo Mastery’s Short Story series may be helpful to increase your skills. Each chapter has a specific language focus, such as directions, verbs, nouns, or activities. These stories have a considerable number of unique words, so you may find yourself referring to the vocabulary list more frequently than in other graded readers.

Keep in mind that the stories are not as engaging as a novel you might read in your native tongue, but the repetition is helpful to familiarize you with different concepts. Other graded readers, like those by Olly Richards, ESLC, and Mandarin Companion follow a single storyline — each chapter in Lingo Mastery, however, follows a separate storyline. Therefore, although the chapters are a manageable length, finishing one may not make you eager to move onto the next.

If you do decide to invest in these readers, make sure to buy the Kindle version, which is about 20% of the paperback price.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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VerbSquirt

2.5 
Price: Freemium, $0.99

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VerbSquirt is a conjugation app for mobile devices that uses multiple choice questions and matching activities to test your knowledge. You can learn by verb group, verb tense, or build your own custom exercises. It also has a summary page that allows you to see how many points you score on average per day, week, and month.
The app doesn’t have a very attractive interface compared to other resources, but if you want to tap on answers to practice recognition rather than active recall, VerbSquirt may be a good option for you. However, you may want to use Conjuguemos instead — it provides free exercises that require you to use active recall and type out the answers. You can also try SpanishDict or Ella Verbs if you are learning Spanish.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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Internet Polyglot

1.3 
Price: Free

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Internet Polyglot is a website for memorizing vocabulary words in dozens of languages. It has 44 “lessons” that cover topics like cars, time, religion, politics, feelings, measurements, and more. Each lesson is essentially a word list with native speaker pronunciation, an English translation, and a link to a picture to help you remember each word.

There are picture games, matching games, guessing games, and typing games, plus a word search and a slide show that reviews all of the words in the lesson.

Given that none of the vocabulary words in Internet Polyglot are taught using example sentences or context, learning vocabulary using this site may not be the best use of your time. You are probably better off using Anki to curate personalized vocabulary lists and downloading native speaker audio files from Forvo to accompany your flashcards. Nevertheless, you may find it useful if all you are looking for is a site that already has lists of vocabulary words with native speaker audio.

If you are looking for audio files for less commonly-studied languages in context, you can check out iLoveLanguages.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

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